The Macchi C.202 Folgore (Italian "thunderbolt") was a World War II fighter aircraft built by Macchi Aeronautica and operated by the Regia Aeronautica (RA; Royal (Italian) Air Force). Macchi aircraft designed by Mario Castoldi received the "C" letter in their model designation, hence the Folgore is referred to as the MC.202. Considered one of the most beautiful fighters to fly with wartime Axis forces, the C.202 was a development of the earlier C.200 Saetta, with a more powerful German Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine and with an extremely streamlined fuselage. Undoubtedly the best wartime fighter to serve in large numbers with the Regia Aeronautica, the Folgore operated on all fronts.
The Folgore went into service with the Regia Aeronautica in July 1941 and immediately proved to be an effective and deadly dogfighter. The Australian ace Clive Caldwell, who fought a wide variety of German, Italian and Japanese fighters during 194145, later stated that the C.202 was "one of the best and most undervalued of fighters". Nonetheless, the C.202 had its defects: like its predecessor, the Macchi C.200, it could fall in dangerous autorotation. It was insufficiently armed, with just two machine guns that easily jammed. The radios were unreliable, forcing the pilots to communicate by waggling wings. The oxygen system was inefficient, causing 50 to 60 per cent of the pilots to break missions off, sometimes even causing fatal accidents.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale diecast replica of an Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore fighter that was piloted by Capt. Carlo Maurizio Ruspoli, who was attached to 91 Squadriglia, 10 Gruppo, 4 Stormo, then deployed to Fuka, Egypt, during 1942.
Now in stock!
Wingspan: 5.75 inches
Length: 4.75 inches
Release Date: October 2011
Historical Account: "Smile for the Camera" - In April 1941, Capt. Carlo Maurizio Ruspoli was the founder and commader of the "Sezione di volo cinematografica" (3 Macchi C.200 with cameras and a CRDA Cant.Z.1007bis recon airplane), a unit with the aim of filming war operations of the Italian and Axis air units. On July 24th, it was renamed "Reparto autonomo di volo cinematografico" with four C.200, one Cant.Z.1007bis and two Caproni Ca.313 transport aircraft. At the end of May 1941, Lt. Emanuele Ruspoli, brother of Carlo Maurizio, became a member of this unit as pilot of the Cant.Z.1007bis or the Ca.313.
On August 23rd, 1941, the unit was in Belgrade and soon after reached Tudora, after a refuelling in Bucarest-Baneasa. On August 27th, 1941, the unit took part in a mission with 22 Gruppo Autonomo (the Italian air corps in Russia) against Soviet Polikarpov I-16; Carlo Maurizio's C.200 becomes damaged during the attack. During the following month the unit took part in many missions along with the Italians, Rumanians and Germans.